Menu

FOOTBALL

All too familiar with rookie QBs, Patriots defense preps for another in Buffalo's Manuel

Between Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill and Colin Kaepernick, New England's defense last season had its hands full trying to defend rookie quarterbacks.

They don't have to wait very long to see if that experience will pay off.

The Patriots will once again be tested by a first-year signal caller Sunday when Buffalo's EJ Manuel makes his debut in the season opener.

Facing a rookie, though, doesn't necessarily translate into greater opportunities for a defense.

"My eyes light up anytime I get to play and get the chance to hit the quarterback. It really don't matter who's in there," said defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who chased down his fair share of rookies during his first nine seasons in the league, all with Oakland. "We've just got to do our job and stay in our lanes and try to collapse that pocket."

___

Online: AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org/